The Role of the Paramedic at a Georgia Accident Scene
Montlick & Associates Car Accident Attorneys Describe the Role of the Paramedic at an Accident Scene
The scene of a car crash can be chaotic. Of course, the amount of chaos depends on how many cars involved and how severe people might be injured. Even a single car accident scene might be chaotic. We rely on first responders to treat and comfort the injured as well as extricate those who are trapped. Police officers, paramedics, and firefighters receive specialized training about how to deal with car wrecks safely. They also have a duty to provide help carefully, according to the standards in their profession, and could be responsible for any injuries they cause to their patients, similar to that of a doctor. Therefore, it is important to understand the protocols a paramedic must follow at an accident scene.
The auto collision attorneys from Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, appreciate the role that paramedics and other first responders play in treating the wounded in car crashes. Understanding their respective protocols, especially that of paramedics, is useful in being able to convey the seriousness of the collision and injuries suffered by the victims of the crash.
Paramedic Protocols at an Accident Scene
The paramedic’s primary responsibility upon arrival to a vehicle accident is to treat the injured. They do not merely run toward the first person they find and start their work. Rather, upon arrival at the scene, a trained and seasoned paramedic will stop for a second and observe. We are not talking about looking around for several minutes inspecting the area. Rather, taking a second to look around helps them gather their emotions and focus on what they need to do to help.
Observing the scene from an overall perspective can help the paramedics determine what injuries people might have suffered in the crash. The paramedics need to know as soon as they can what the “mechanism of injury” was and then rely on their training and experience to treat the injury itself. Paramedics normally assess the scene by observing the number of vehicles involved, the type of collision (head-on, t-bone, or rear-end), and the kinds of vehicles in the accident.
At a scientific level, the paramedics are looking for which vehicles might contain the most severely injured patients, based on physics. They will also try to determine based on a quick glance which car might have gotten the worse of the collision. Within the last 10 or so years, auto manufacturers designed cars with crumple zones. Crumple zones displace the energy released by the collision. If the car’s design does its job, then the outside of the car might look horrible but the people inside could be banged up, but otherwise not seriously injured. As a result, paramedics are trained to look into the cars. They are looking to see whether the windshield broke, or if the dashboard or steering wheel moved. Those signs are a better indicator of the danger in which the victims find themselves than whether the car’s exterior is badly damaged. They will also normally look at the seatbelts to see if people were restrained properly.
After their initial observation, paramedics go to aid their patients. They are trained to ask what happened. and are initially concerned with assessing whether their patient lost consciousness. Secondarily, the medic wants to learn if there could be other injuries in addition to those that are visible. The paramedic should err on the side of caution and use neck and back bracing when removing people from their vehicles. They should treat every person as if they have a back or neck injury until they have enough information to rule that out as a potential injury.
From the crash victim’s perspective, the paramedic's assessment and the answers to the questions the paramedic receives could be valuable evidence for an accident victim.
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If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with an experienced Accident Attorney in Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 38 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333